Orthopedic Surgeon Expert Witness On MedMal Case

A Bellingham, WA, neurosurgeon being sued for medical malpractice testified that modern medicine hasn’t progressed enough to prevent the brain damage his patient suffered at St. Joseph Hospital in October 2004. Dr. David Goldman took the witness stand Thursday, Oct. 1, and told a Whatcom County Superior Court jury he did everything possible to prevent the damage Carol Martin suffered Oct. 7, 2004, following neck surgery. Goldman performed that surgery on Martin, but a blood clot formed in her neck afterward, a rare but known complication. That restricted her breathing, caused swelling and eventually led to severe, permanent brain damage.

“This was a very bad outcome, and we all felt terrible about this tragedy,” Goldman testified. “There is nothing I think I could do. This is the limit of what modern medicine can do. That’s very hard to accept and live with, but that’s my job.” Otorowski and Golden called orthopedic surgeon expert witness Dr. Mark Palumbo to the stand last week to criticize Goldman’s care of Martin and say it was below the standard of care.

Martin, her husband, Stanley, and her children sued Goldman, anesthesiologist John Schroeter and the hospital in 2007. The trial finished its third week Thursday and continues Monday. The Martins’ attorneys, Christopher Otorowski and Thomas Golden, have estimated damages to be $3.7 million to $5.4 million.

Excerpted from the newstribune.com